- 6 thoughts
- Log in to add a thought
When I was in elementary school, I had this Christian friend that was always trying to get me involved in his church and youth group. I had no interest in even pretending to be Christian, but I saw no reason to decline an invitation to hang out with a bunch of boys my age at a chaperoned sleepover in a church. Ill-mannered boys. Video games. Talking about sports. People acting hostile and cliquish. I don't really mind. I have a splitting headache anyway and just want to go read in a corner. After a few minutes, my peace is disrupted by shoes being thrown at me. Then pillows. Then a half-dozen older boys are coming down upon me with pillows and shoes in pillowcases, pushing me and knocking me around. I may have not minded as much if I hadn't the terrible headache and had a bit of patience that night. Backed into a corner, I have no escape, and was getting beaten up (as much as scrawny elementary and middle schoolers can beat someone up). All I could do was try to deflect their blows and yell, "Leave me the fuck alone!" The beatdown immediately stopped. They gasped. Dropping their implements of whoopass, they scattered. I wasn't sure if little ol' atheist standing up to the big mean Christians was impressive to them or what, I just knew that I could get back to my book again and eventually try to get some sleep. Then one of the parents, chaperoning that night, walked up to me. "I heard what happened". I started into a reassuring "I'm okay, they didn't really hurt me badly. You don't need to kick them out or anything," speech when he interrupted me. "I don't care what they did. I don't ever want to hear of you using foul language in this church again, or else you'll have to go home and not come back to any more of our functions." Yeah... I found out later that the unexpectedly organized attack was due to a game of "Smear the Queer" being called, wherein someone, myself in this case, is designated as the "Queer" and beaten mercilessly by all participants. This was condoned by the adults. This, of course, drastically impacted my views on the role of organized religion in our society. Ain't no little Buddhist never bludgeoned me with a pillowcase full of Reeboks.